#NextLevel: January 13-15


An exhausted but jubilant Josh Fox celebrates his first collegiate tournament win Saturday at the Purple Raider Open in Alliance, OH, hosted by Mt. Union College. Fox had to win four matches for the gold, knocking off Purdue’s Jacob Aven, 4-2, in the 285-pound finals (Photo submitted by Zac Fox via Facebook).

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

ALLIANCE, OH — The Lakeland Center, five years ago, was the site of Josh Fox‘s last tournament victory.

Competing for Ohio State University’s wrestling team — while simultaneously balancing pre-med studies, which Fox has handled flawlessly since starting at Columbus in the fall of 2012 — has been a hard road, however.

Many open tournaments. Lots of spot starts at weights that were not a natural fit for Fox, but were for “the good of the team.”

Last weekend, those college career-long sacrifices finally paid off in tournament gold once again for Fox (University Christian ’12), who won the Purple Raider Open, contested at Mount Union College.

Fox’s first match in the 285-pound weight class resulted in a 10-2 major over Mercyhurst’s Alex Guidice, sending him into the quarterfinals against Mercyhurst Northeast’s Cornell Wilson. That turned into another major for Fox, this time by an 11-1 count.

In the semis, Fox faced another Mercyhurst wrestler, freshman Jacob Robb, and this was a tougher match, as Robb had extensive success in Pennsylvania high school circles. But, experience for fifth-year seniors counts, and Fox took a 3-2 decision to move into the finals.

That brought another Big Ten Conference opponent in third-year Purdue sophomore Jacob Aven, who’s had appearances in bigger Midwest events like the Midlands Championships in Evanston, and had been third at this meet a year ago. Fox, though, had enough answers to win his first collegiate title, with a 4-2 decision in the final. It was his first title since winning 1A states for the Christians back in 2012.

Brackets from the event can be viewed here: http://www.thewrestlingtourney.com/reports/3215-brkall.pdf

Here’s a recap of the rest of the Northeast-area alumni competing at the #NextLevel:

Xaiver Sampsel (Fleming Island ’16, Limestone College): Started for the Saints in their 22-18 victory on the road Saturday at Spartanburg Methodist, competing at 141 pounds, but fell to SMC’s Jacob Power, 5-3.

Zach Ford (Flagler Palm Coast ’13, Rhode Island College): Lost by technical fall on Friday night in RIC’s home loss to intra-city rival and NCAA Division III third-ranked Johnson & Wales, 45-3. Ford fell, 19-0, to Johnson & Wales’ Thomas Grippi. A news release on the dual can be found here: http://www.goanchormen.com/Releases/Releases1617/Winter/winter-048.html

Josh Walker (Columbia ’15, Neosho CC): Competed in the first of four duals at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Duals on Friday. Neosho downed North Iowa Area CC, 27-21, but then fell to Northeastern JC (41-12), Iowa Western CC (48-3) and Otero JC (45-6). Walker only appeared against NIACC at 197, where he lost by fall to Sedrak Sheppard in 6:36.

Hayden Good (Bartram Trail ’15, Johns Hopkins): Competed in his team’s 27-15 dual win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at home on Saturday afternoon, the Bluejays’ first Centennial Conference dual of 2017. Good lost by fall in 1:39 to Victor Raigoza at 285 pounds. A recap of the dual can be found here: http://www.hopkinssports.com/sports/m-wrestl/recaps/011417aaa.html

Corey Van Dorn (Orange Park ’14, Nebraska-Kearney): Went 0-2 at 197 pounds at the UN-Kearney Duals on Friday, although his team won over New Mexico Highlands (42-0), California Baptist (31-13), Colorado Mesa (27-9) and Adams State (35-12). Van Dorn lost by fall to Calfornia Baptist’s Jake Waste in 1:13, and by fall to Adams State’s Khalil Gipson in 1:00.

Kristopher Smith (St. Augustine ’16, Grays Harbor CC): Competed at the Boxer Open in Forest Grove, OR, on Sunday, where he was 0-2 at 125 pounds. Smith lost by fall in the first round to Clackamas CC’s David Campbell in 2:19, and then took a loss by fall in the consis to Grays Harbor teammate Aaron Blanchard, in 39 seconds.

David Trigg (University Christian ’15, Liberty University): Competed in the Peninsula Wrestling Association’s Virginia Duals over the weekend, at 197. He fell 16-9 to Apprentice School’s Tyson Tillar, 16-9, in a dual his team won, 24-18, and then lost by fall to King’s Eldon Valery in 4:07, a dual that Liberty lost 30-18. Liberty took fifth in the eight-team tournament.

South Dakota State (coached by Bolles alum Chris Bono): The 20th-ranked Jackrabbits beat Air Force, 28-6, on Sunday, with wins at every weight between 133-197. A recap of the dual can be found here: http://gojacks.com/news/2017/1/15/wrestling-jackrabbits-run-winning-streak-to-seven.aspx?path=wrestling . On Friday, SDSU traveled to Wyoming, where it took down the Cowboys, 33-11, behind wins at all five of the upper weights. A recap of that dual — which includes SDSU 197 Nate Rotert beating a former wrestler of Matmen’s from up north, by fall — can be found here: http://gojacks.com/news/2017/1/13/wrestling-fast-start-propels-jacks-past-wyoming.aspx?path=wrestling.

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Army Duals Recap


Westside wrestlers with coach Christopher McNealy (top left, standing) celebrate the Wolverines’ team victory on Saturday afternoon at Terry Parker’s Army Duals (photo submitted by Coach McNealy).

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

JACKSONVILLE — The upcoming weekend’s Gateway Conference IBT appears to be more wide-open than in recent memory.

Last weekend, Westside staked its claim as one of the Gateway favorites with a first-place showing at the 16-team Army Duals event, hosted by Terry Parker.

The Wolverines joined Englewood and West Nassau at the top of Pool A, with all three teams posting 6-1 records, with Westside advancing on to the title match via criteria.

There, the Wolverines downed Mandarin — which also was tied for the top in Pool B, but had a head-to-head advantage over Wolfson — by a 44-36 score.

In the final, five straight wins between 145 and 182 — falls from Jacob Boyd (145), Matthew Gathright (160), John Jones (170) and Calvin Altman (182), plus a key 14-8 win for the Wolverines’ Delmontae Davis (Northeast #3 at 152) over #6 Adam Spikes — gave Westside a 32-6 lead.

Mandarin would rally with falls from Gavin Miles (195) and Andrew Hudgins (220), but Tariq Hookfin (#4 at 285) slammed the door with a fall that, with a Wolverine forfeit in hand at 106, effectively clinched the dual and the title.

Below follows a recap of all 16 teams’ weekends:

1. Westside: The Wolverines picked up three wins on Friday over Robert E. Lee (63-12), First Coast (39-30) and Englewood (53-30), surviving an early loss to West Nassau on Saturday to rally with wins over FSDB (60-18), Stanton (49-15) and Paxon (66-12) before facing the Mustangs in the title match. Davis (3 pins, 2 techs & a decision), Jones (HM at 170, 3 pins & tech) and Hookfin (2 pins) were all 8-0 for Westside, with Angelo Philpot, Boyd (#7 at 145) and Altman (HM at 182) each going 7-1.

2. Mandarin: The Mustangs’ only loss came Friday night in criteria (most pins) against Baker County, with dual wins over Pedro Menendez (58-13) and Wolfson (42-31) on Friday, plus Saturday wins over Bradford (57-12), University Christian (63-15), Fernandina Beach (64-12) and Terry Parker (60-18). Mandarin had two wrestlers go undefeated on the weekend in Gunner Stier (HM at 126, 4 pins) and Miles (HM at 182, 4 pins & major). Chase Mattox (#10 at 120), Noah Colbert-Santana, Spikes and Andrew Hudgins were all 7-1 for Mandarin, with Jake Kamins adding a 6-1 weekend.

3-4. Englewood: Competed only in the pool rounds, with three wins on Friday over FSDB (53-12), Stanton (48-18) and Paxon (60-6), taking Saturday Ws against Robert E. Lee (48-12), First Coast (54-18) and West Nassau (48-35). No third-place match with Wolfson was wrestled due to a near-future dual between the two teams. Three Ram wrestlers were 7-0 on the weekend: Tavian Whitehead (#4 at 160, 7 pins), Michel Augustin (#8 at 182, 4 pins & tech) and Chase Hamilton (3 pins & major), with Hunter Padgett, Dairo Guerra and Christopher Lands all going 6-1.

3-4 Wolfson: The Wolfpack went 2-1 on Friday, with wins over Terry Parker (60-24) and Bradford (42-36), before rolling out four straight wins on Saturday against Fernandina Beach (54-6), Pedro Menendez (37-24), Baker County (48-36) and University Christian (42-14). Aries Fahnbulleh (2 pins) and Sai Hassalla (HM at 138, 2 pins & major) were both 7-0 for Wolfson, with Ronald Brunson (#6 at 285, 2 pins & major) going 6-0.

5. West Nassau: The Warriors’ only loss came on Friday, as they opened with a 63-18 win over Stanton, then came back from the loss with six straight wins over Paxon (72-6), Westside (36-32), Robert E. Lee (54-19), FSDB (60-12), First Coast (44-36) and a 42-36 fifth-place victory over Baker County. Bradly Kraai (5 pins) and Will Tharpe (#4 at 145, 6 pins & tech) were both 8-0, with Blake Hodges (HM at 220, 2 pins & major) was 4-0 in a Saturday-only appearance for West Nassau.

6. Baker County: Went 3-0 on Friday, with wins over Fernandina Beach (45-18), Pedro Menendez (44-36) and Mandarin (43-42, criteria as noted above), and won its first two duals on Saturday over University Christian (45-18) and Terry Parker (54-28) before taking losses in its final three duals of the weekend. Jordan Johnson (#7 at 132, 3 pins) was the only 8-0 Wildcat in the lineup, with Cole Cushman (#9 at 106) and Devon Cole both going 7-1.

7. First Coast: Buccaneers were 1-2 on Friday, with their lone win coming over FSDB (54-18), pulling together three straight wins in pool play against Stanton (39-15), Paxon (54-12) and Robert E. Lee (42-15), winning 39-27 over the hosts in the seventh-place match. Three First Coast wrestlers were unbeaten: Jason Schwartz (#9 at 113, 8-0 with 4 pins), Seanjohn Adams (7-0 with four pins and a win by injury-default) and Valois Ochoa (#6 at 182, 6-0 with 3 pins).

8. Terry Parker: Rallied from an opening-round loss Friday to post wins over Bradford (31-24) and Fernandina Beach (36-30), adding Saturday victories over Pedro Menendez (41-31) and University Christian (42-21). Landon Dains (HM at 170) led the Braves with a 7-1 record.

9. Bradford: Opened the tournament with a 27-18 win over University Christian, but then didn’t find another win until midday Saturday, closing out with four victories in succession over Fernandina Beach (33-4), Pedro Menendez (29-18), Baker County (36-30) and the ninth-place match over Robert E. Lee (33-18). Eddie McCormick (T-10 at 220) was 8-0 with six pins and a tech for the Tornadoes, while Trevor Jones (HM at 152) was 7-1 and Jacob Hake was 6-1.

10. Robert E. Lee: Generals were 2-1 on Friday, with wins over FSDB (52-24) and Stanton (36-29), adding a third win over Paxon (42-18) early on Saturday before falling in their final four duals of the weekend. Vincente Waugh (132) and Darius Wells (138) were both 7-1 for Lee.

11. Stanton: The 2A Blue Devils downed ‘Brain Bowl’ rival Paxon 48-24 on Friday, then lost four duals in order before rallying to take wins over FSDB (28-21) and the 11th-place match against Fernandina Beach (42-18). Mitchell Mika was 7-1 and Tymofiy Hryhorchuck 6-1 for Stanton, with Jenna Seo going 4-0 in a part-time starter role.

12. Fernandina Beach: Found one win on both days of the event, downing University Christian 30-24 on Friday and Pedro Menendez 27-24 on Saturday. Joseph Helm (#3 at 170) was 8-0 on the weekend, with six pins and a major decision, for the Pirates.

13. Pedro Menendez: The Falcons’ lone win in pool play came on Friday night in a 36-30 victory over University Christian, but they added one more in the 13th-place match, a 30-24 win over FSDB. Max Worthington (HM at 170) was 8-0 with four pins and a decision, while Austyn Holsomback (HM at 195) won in all three of the Falcons’ Friday appearances.

14. FSDB: The Dragons won their first dual of the weekend, a 28-27 victory in criteria over Paxon, but then — with just seven wrestlers in the lineup to start the event and six by its end — struggled to find wins. Reynaldo Suero-Perez was 8-0 with three pins for FSDB, while Christian Miranda (HM at 106) was 7-1.

15-16. University Christian & Paxon: Neither team was able to find a victory, although — as noted above — the Golden Eagles took a criteria loss to FSDB and UC’s three Friday losses were by a combined total of just 21 points, not bad considering the Christians had just five wrestlers in the lineup. Matthew Rodriquez (#3 at 106, 3 pins & tech) and Daniel Porter (T-3 at 113, 5 pins & decision) were both 7-0 for UC, with Cameron Wiley adding a 6-1 record.

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Milton-Winter Memorial Duals Recap

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

ST. CLOUD — It took some pretty solid competition to take down Buchholz this past weekend at the Milton-Winter Memorial Duals this past weekend.

The Bobcats finished 5-3 in the two-day event, with wins over Boone (47-30), Gateway (69-9), Poinciana (67-11), Titusville (69-12) and University (Orange City), 46-27. Losses came against some pretty solid company in 3A teams Freedom (58-16) and Hagerty (43-27), as well as 2A’s Jensen Beach (49-27).

Although no full-time starter went unbeaten over the course of the weekend for the Bobcats, Buchholz did have four regular presences take just one loss.

Leading the charge in wins for Buchholz (16-6 overall) were Bryan Perkins (106/113) and Gant Moore (138/145), both of whom went 7-1 on the weekend. Perkins had a pin, tech and decision, losing only at 113 by a 4-2 decision in the Hagerty dual.

Moore had four pins, a tech and a decision, with the only loss coming again against Hagerty.

Jose Romero (220) was 6-1 with four pins, and Tracen Ransdell (145/152) was 5-1 with two pins, a tech and a major. Armando Acosta (182/195) had two pins en route to a 6-2 weekend.

Columbia also represented the Northeast area in the event, and the short-handed Tigers struggled, going 2-6 in duals.

On Friday, the Tigers lost to Astronaut (51-21), North Port (42-21), Wellington (64-9) and University-Orange City (40-36). Columbia (7-8 overall) did rally on Saturday, with wins over Ocoee (48-24) and Poinciana (35-15), falling to the hosts (42-24) and Seminole Ridge (39-24).

Daniel Mann (138/145) was the only area wrestler with a regular presence in the lineup to go unbeaten on the weekend. Mann had five pins, a win by injury-default and two decisions in finishing with an 8-0 record.

Chace Curtis (126) was 7-1 for the Tigers, with four pins, a tech and a decision.

Buchholz is off until Saturday, when the Bobcats will compete in the Gainesville “Cities” championship. Columbia will be off until the George Jenkins IBT on January 27-28.

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1A Dual Championships Recap — NE

Northeast Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — As far ahead as Northeast #3 Clay is of most teams in the coverage area, there are times and situations where an opponent can overwhelm even the Blue Devils.

That time was Saturday afternoon and that opponent was Lake Highland Prep, nationally-ranked 4th by InterMat and the consensus #1 team in Florida.

The 61-8 loss that the Highlanders gave Clay was a loss that the Blue Devils would give many teams around here, as just two Clay wrestlers came away with wins during that dual, which wrapped up the 1A Dual Championships two-day event, which brought together several Class 1A state-ranked teams, plus 2A’s Middleburg, a late addition when another team was forced to drop out.

“We want to get well and get back to competing. We’ll shake it off and be ready for Thursday (when the Blue Devils host #1 Flagler Palm Coast),” Clay coach Jim Reape said. “You get that ranking and and you see that pattern on the singlet, some guys get a little scared.

“Obviously, they’re in elite condition and super-well trained. When you wrestle a team like that, you can’t have any illusions about your weaknesses, because they exploit them.”

In that dual, Louis Gagliardo (106) and Justin Merring (152) both won by major decision over LHP opponents, both earning 8-0 shutouts. At 126, Peyton Hughes took 2016 Highlander state champion Noah Castillo to the ultimate tiebreaker, but couldn’t get out from the bottom position in a 5-4, triple-overtime loss that was the signature match of the weekend.

Clay finished 6-1 over the course of the weekend, with wins on Friday over Middleburg (51-26), Suwannee (58-16) and Somerset Academy (39-33). On Saturday, the Blue Devils took double-digit wins over Florida High (45-24), Key West (57-18) and Raines (71-9) before closing out the tournament with Lake Highland Prep.

Gagliardo and Merring both were 7-0 on the course of the weekend. Gagliardo had two pins, a tech and two majors while seeing time at both 106 and 113, while Merring had six pins before his major against LHP.

Keath Sawdo (145) and Kaleb Collins (195) were both 6-1. Sawdo had three pins and two decisions, while Collins had a pin and two decisions. Hughes had four pins and a decision en route to a 5-1 weekend. In more part-time roles, Cody Taylor (138) was 5-0 with two pins, a major and decision, but only wrestled one contested match on Saturday. Kurt Jackson (220/285) was 3-1, with a pin and a major.

The Blue Devils were the only Northeast team in the top half of the field, which saw Somerset Academy go 5-2 and Florida High 4-3.

Next up was Suwannee, which went 1-2 on Friday (winning 49-24 over Middleburg and 2-2 on Saturday, with wins over Raines (72-12) and Key West (54-22), with a tight loss against District 2 rival Florida High, falling 35-32.

“We got a reality check,” Suwannee coach Logan Register said. “We’ve got to get more aggressive, got to start taking shots, can’t just hang on the head. I can’t stress it more about being aggressive.

“We’ll be fine. We’ll go back Monday, work on our mistakes and get ready for Naples (the Chase Life Invitational, where the Bulldogs will be this coming weekend).”

Tyler Ogles (113) was the only Suwannee wrestler to pick up six wins over the course of the weekend, racking up five pins along the way. Ogles’ only loss was to Lake Highland, and that by just one scoring move, 7-5.

Brandon Trask (2 pins & 2 decisions at 106), Chase Clark (pin & 2 decisions at 120), Tanner Clark (4 pins & decision at 152) and Billy Jenkins (pin, major and decision at 160) were all 5-2 for the Bulldogs.

Middleburg could only find its way to one win over the course of the weekend, rolling past Raines 66-18, but the Broncos were in a fight Saturday morning in their first dual of the day against Key West, leading 18-6 at one point before the Conchs came back to win, 32-30.

“We loved the competitive level; that’s why we came here. Our guys are young and inexperienced and they need to see guys like this,” Middleburg coach Richie Dusinberre said. “What these young guys got didn’t reflect in the wins and losses, but they stuck themselves out there and they competed.”

Bryan Heflin (competing at 182 and 195) was 5-2 with four pins for Middleburg, as was Robert Barnard (285, four pins & decision).

With just four weights filled, Raines was going to be 0-7 in duals no matter what those four kids did, but all things considered the Vikings had successes to take home.

“We got experience, learned what to prepare for, what to get ready for state weekend,” Raines coach Brian Gilbert said. “These are top guys that our guys need to see. We know where we stand and what we need to work on.”

Jaquan English (132) was 6-1 with two pins, a major and three decisions — and only a loss to nationally-ranked Joey Silva of Lake Highland Prep — while Jamon Goodwine (285) had four pins en route to a 5-2 weekend.

Clay is off until Thursday, when it hosts Flagler Palm Coast. Suwannee will be in Naples’ Palmetto Ridge HS for Chase Life, a two-day IBT. Middleburg is off until this weekend’s St Johns River Conference dual tournament in Matanzas, and Raines is off until this weekend’s Gateway Conference tournament, hosted by Sandalwood.

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Trojan Invitational Recap

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

TALLAHASSEE — “Don’t call it a comeback” might be the motto around the Wakulla wrestling room these days.

The War Eagles have been here at the top of northwest Florida wrestling circles for years now, and although they’ve taken a hit or two, recent events suggest they’ll have a lot to say about how things shake out over the last month of the season.

First, there was Wakulla’s win at Beast of the Beach before Christmas, but the third-ranked (Northwest) War Eagles showed the ability to handle IBTs just as efficiently on Saturday, as Wakulla rolled past Northwest #2 Lincoln, 243.5-191, with Northwest #4 Arnold a bit further back in third with 156.

Rounding out the top half of the field were Northwest honorable-mention teams Chiles (4th, 145.5 points), Niceville (5th, 137.5), Choctaw (6th, 134) and Tate (8th, 98). Ridgeview was tops among Northeast teams in the 16-team event, taking seventh with 120.5 points.

Rounding out the team scores were Northeast HM Orange Park (92), Bay (67.5), Mosley (66), Leon (59), Marianna (51), Gainesville (38), Wewahitchka (33.5) and Rocky Bayou Christian, which did not score.

A summary of each individual weight class follows:

106: Tate junior Jacob Cochran (Northwest #1) pinned his way through the bracket, including a first-period fall in the finals over Wakulla freshman Matthew Owen (NW T-2). Lincoln’s Mark Munroe (NW #5), who lost in the semis to Owen, pinned Niceville’s Lee Hamilton (NW HM) for third, with Orange Park’s Cameron Broughton winning by fall over Gainesville’s Nathan Fox for fifth.

113: Wakulla senior Larry Smith (NW #1) also pinned his way through the day, going into the third period to fall Northwest #2 Dominic Cerillo, a senior, of Niceville, in 4:36, to win in the finals. Choctaw’s Jerson Cabiao (NW #5), who lost to Smith in the semis, pinned Gainesville’s Scotty Tacinelli (Northeast #8) for third, with Ridgeview’s Jonathan Kaylor edging Lincoln’s Hayden Buzick 7-6 for fifth.

120: Ridgeview senior Marcus Reid (NE #2) picked up the Clay County Panthers’ only bracket, with two pins to get to the final and a 19-3 tech fall there over the hosts’ Michael Crowder (NW #3), a junior. Bay’s Gabe Meyer, who’s spent all season at 126 prior to this weekend, pinned Orange Park’s Dean Ganci for third, with Keean Creager of Niceville pinning Choctaw’s Jacky Grissom for fifth.

126: In what would be considered one of the upsets of the tournament, Wakulla senior Max Owen (NW T-2) picked up the outstanding-wrestler award for the lower weights behind four falls, including one in three minutes over Arnold sophomore Ethan Pickren (NW #1). Tate’s Mathew Blalock (NW HM) downed Choctaw’s Logan Myer, 13-10, for third, with Wakulla’s Rolin Malik (NW #3 at 132) pinning Lincoln’s Tyree Young (NW HM) for fifth.

132: Arnold senior William Pickren (NW #1) pinned his way thorugh the bracket, never having to go past the first period in four rounds and falling Chiles’ Logan Mellor (NW #5), a senior, in 1:10 for the bracket win. Ridgeview’s Requan Works, who lost to Pickren in the semis, shut out Mosley’s Shane Ferry (NW HM) 4-0 for third, with Bay’s Aaron Curry decisioning Wakulla’s Blake Reeves to place fifth.

138: Arnold senior Richie McClanahan (NW #1) either pinned or teched his way through the bracket, collecting his 200th career win along the way, with three pins and a tech over Ridgeview junior Saeid Ejmali (NE #2 at 132), 15-0 in the final. Choctaw’s Marc Casey, who lost to McClanahan in the semis, pinned Chiles’ Andrew Tychsen for third, with Tate’s Kendall Townley (NW #5) winning by fall over Lincoln’s Eli Crum (NW HM) for fifth.

145: Wakulla freshman Noah Wilson (NW #3) picked up a fall, a major and two decisions en route to the title, shutting out Chiles junior Austin Nolan (NW #2), 6-0 in the finals. Niceville’s Bailey Howes (NW HM), who lost to Wilson in the semis, decisioned Ridgeview’s Malachi Martin (NE #9) 7-2 for third, with Choctaw’s Nathan Gunn decisioning Jonathan Lozada of Arnold, 4-1, for fifth place.

152: Marianna senior Max Martinez (NW #1) had three pins to get to the final, but had to go a full six minutes to turn back Arnold junior Drew St. Amant (NW #2), 5-3, for the bracket win. Wewahitchka’s Burley Parker (NW #4) pinned NW #5 Juan Alvarez of Tate for third place, while NW # Jeremy Burke edged NW HM Noah Breeden of Wakulla, 7-6, for fifth.

160: Lincoln junior Justin Grant (NW #1) had bonus points in every round of the day, with a major and then three pins, including a second-period fall in 3:30 over Niceville junior Jack Johnson (NW #2) to win the title. Mosley’s Jarred Pitts (NW HM), who’d lost to Grant in the semis, pinned Wewahitchka’s Jackson Vines for third, with Choctaw’s Isaac Smith winning by decision over Gainesville’s Justin Harbilas for fifth.

170: Orange Park senior Nartorian Lee (NE #2) had two falls and two decisions en route to the title, downing Chiles senior Gavin Hoard (NW #1), 1-0, in the finals, earning Lee the outstanding-wrestler award for upper weights. Arnold’s Cole Maddox (NW #2 at 182) made his first appearance at 170 and, after losing to Lee in the semis, came back for third with a 9-2 decision over Lincoln’s Jared Newhall (NW #2). Mosley’s Dalton Childs (NW T-4) pinned Ridgeview’s Nick Sierronaf for fifth.

182: Leon junior JT Grant (NW #3) had a fall and major decision to reach the finals, where he held off Chiles senior Justin Lopeman (NW #5), 7-6, for the title. Orange Park’s Reed Danielson (NE HM) pinned Lincoln’s Gus Altenburg for third, with Choctaw’s Sam Mason (NW HM) pinning Bay’s Andrew Luzny for fifth place.

195: Leon senior Henry Segura (NW #2) pinned his way through the bracket, going into the second period to pin Niceville junior Darrius Pena in 2:59 in the finals. Wakulla’s John Trevor Hinsey (NW HM), who’d lost to Pena in the semis, pinned Chiles’ Thomas Blake for third place, with Tate’s Jacob Neales (NW HM) falling Bay’s Danterius Ghant, who made his first appearance of the year, for fifth place.

220: Wakulla got its fourth title of the day as senior Marlon Ng (NW T-2) pinned his way through the draw (4 falls in all), with a third-period pin in 5:40 over Lincoln senior Josh Martin (NW #1) to win the title. Chiles’ Bobby Williams (NW T-2), who’d lost to Ng in the semis, decisioned Orange Park’s Tyler Dehart (NE #5), 9-4, for third, with Mosley’s Brandon Jackson pinning Niceville’s Morgan Cuasey for fifth.

285: It was an all-War Eagle final, as unranked senior Darius Wilkins had three falls to get there, then edged junior Jacob Marin (NW #1), 4-3, in the first time that the Wakulla pair actually faced off after two earlier opportunities in December to do so. Choctaw’s Martino Plummer (NW HM) pinned Lincoln’s Jonquille Rivers for third, with Ridgeview’s Kenneth Tresvant falling Chiles’ Nick Schindler for fifth.

Brackets were posted to the IBTs page and to The Wrestling Nation on Sunday.

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Kowboy Invitational Recap

Fleming Island wrestlers and coaches take a team picture following the Golden Eagles' win Saturday at the Kowboy Invitational, IBT component (Photo submitted to Facebook via Travis Cunningham).

Fleming Island wrestlers and coaches take a team picture following the Golden Eagles’ win Saturday at the Kowboy Invitational, IBT component (Photo submitted to Facebook via Travis Cunningham).

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

KISSIMMEE — Fleming Island was a late addition to the Kowboy Invitational party over the last couple of days at Osceola HS.

For a gate-crasher, the Golden Eagles came in and owned the place this past weekend, following up a 3-0 duals performance on Friday with a nearly 200-point margin of victory in the IBT component of the tournament on Saturday.

Four Fleming Island wrestlers walked away with first-place trophies as a result of their weight-class wins, but 15 of the 16 Golden Eagles in attendance on the weekend finished in the top eight, hence the dominant margin between themselves and the runnerup hosts.

Briar Jackson (106) got the title train rolling for Fleming Island, pinning his way through the draw (3 in all). He needed just 55 seconds to deck the hosts’ Josue Calderon in the finals.

Paul Detwiler (152) was next up atop the podium for the Golden Eagles, and while he didn’t pin his way through his bracket, he did have bonus points at every round, collecting three falls and then shutting out Osceola’s Blake Fuller, 9-0, in the finals.

Jason Davis (182) had the Golden Eagles’ third title, with a 10-0 major and then a pair of pins, with the second coming just before the end of the first period, as he falled Creekside’s Trey Chesser in 1:53.

Like Jackson did at 106, Brandyne Mackey (220) pinned his way through the bracket, all before the 3-minute mark in each round. In the finals, Mackey pinned Creekside’s Saul Storey in 2:35.

Fleming Island had five other wrestlers in the finals in their brackets. Deandre Demus (120) lost to the hosts’ Malyke Hines, 9-0, in the title match, while Jacob Sandoval (126) fell to Ft. Myers’ Justin Rivera, 8-1. Trace Insalaco (132) took an 11-2 loss in the finals to Osceola’s Jose Cuevas, with Jalyn Robinson (170) falling to Creekside’s Brandon Dickman and Ryan Smenda (195) dropping a 3-1 loss to Ft. Myers’ Matt McQuinn.

Joseph Donato (113) was third, with Vince Hauser (138) and Luke Chop (145) each taking fourths. Ian Kincaid (170) and Jose Concepcion (285) both finished fifth and Ben Sann (160) was eighth.

Creekside went 1-2 in duals, but rallied in the IBT format, placing third, edging Ft. Myers 294.5-281.5 for that spot, with two other 3A teams — Lake Mary (273.5) and Miami Palmetto (268.5) — close behind.

As mentioned earlier, Dickman — this week’s Northeast Pacesetter — was champion for the Knights, and their only one. He had two falls prior to taking a 4-1 decision over Robinson in the championship match.

Chesser and Storey were the Knights’ only runnerups, with Corey Grower placing third at 195. Luke Davis took fourth at 106, Colin Brown was sixth at 113, Jake Summers seventh at 120 and Jacob Cooney eighth at 138.

Fleming Island is off until Friday, when it will defend its St Johns River Conference title at Matanzas. Creekside is off until Wednesday, when the Knights travel to Bartram Trail.

Dual results for both teams are already posted; brackets will be put on all three sites on Monday.

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Viper Duals Recap

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

COCOA — December was not an easy month for the Episcopal wrestling team. Three wrestlers, lots of dual losses, reasonable individual success…but always back to just the three kids in the varsity lineup.

This past week, that number has more than doubled, and that in and of itself is a positive for the Eagles even before they recorded their first dual victory of the 2016-17 season on Saturday at the two-day Viper Duals event hosted by Space Coast HS.

Freshmen Cooper Helton and Robert Jackson, along with 7th grader Kaiman Clark, made their first varsity appearances of the season this week for the Eagles, but the most notable new face — for this year — was the return of freshman Kyle Hopkins.

And Hopkins, competing at either 113 or 120 depending on the dual, made an immediate impact, going 7-1 on the weekend with a fall against Oasis on Friday night, three major decisions (Atlantic & Viera on Friday, Cocoa Beach on Saturday), plus a decision against Merritt Island Saturday. His only loss was a 3-0 decision in the final dual of the weekend to The Master’s Academy’s Dylan Kohn, who is state-ranked in 1A.

The best performance of the weekend came from senior Christian Rickey (170/182) who was 8-0 with two pins (Viera and Lyman) and two decisions (Atlantic & Oasis) on Friday, and two pins (Cocoa Beach and Space Coast), a tech (Master’s Academy) and major against Merritt Island.

Reid Hampton (126/132) was 6-2 with five pins, while Freddie Dollison (220) was 5-3, with four pins. Clark (Oasis) and Helton (Master’s Academy) each recorded their first varsity falls.

In duals, the story was mostly the same — although Episcopal was close in all but one of its duals on Friday — but the Eagles did break through on the win column in the final dual of the event, a 36-27 victory over The Master’s Academy.

Episcopal is now off until Tuesday, when it hosts Bishop Kenny.

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